'InternationalAIDS Conference Slams
Fabregas, a Spaniard whoemigrated to the U.S. in 1978, addressed theprotesters. Since
from entering the country, the
returning toSan Francisco after the conference."I have lived in the U.S. all my adult life,"Fabregas said.
contracted HIV there. I paytaxes and have a lover there. I demand the rightto stay."Fabregas said most immigrants with HIV areafraid of deportation and thus do not seektesting and treatment. He said
restrictions on immigration and travel
vastnumbers of people underground, make themunreachable by education or medical support,and thereby foster the spread of HTV."
Scientists, activists share views
The AIDS conference was originally scheduled to
in Boston under the sponsorshipof Harvard University. However, at last year'sconference in Florence, Italy, protests about
immigration policy forced organizers tomove this year's conference to another country.For the past twoyears,the International AIDSConference has passed declarations opposingthe
immigration ban and travel restrictionsagainst people with HTV. And ever since AIDSactivists took the stage at the opening ceremonyof the
conference in Montreal, organizershave included activists in the meeting program.The inclusion is often an appendage to theconference more than an integral part of it. Atthe request of
year the conferenceheld its first global meeting for scientists, activ
workers, policy makers, andpeople with
to exchange ideas.About 1,000 people attended this meeting onJuly 19, including scientists from Africa, LatinAmerica and Asia. Both
Maria Eugenia Fer-nandes of Brazil and Dr. Ruth Nduati of Kenyalinked the burgeoning epidemic in their countries to the effects of neocolonialism.Fernandes, of Sao Paolo's state health department, said Brazil's inability to adequately address the AIDS crisis is "deeply linked to ourcountry's existing economic crisis."She pointedout that the government must pay billions ofdollars a year on International Monetary Fundloans, leaving Brazil without the funds to carefor its 25,000 people with AIDS and 425,000HIV-positive people.Nduati, a University of Nairobi pediatrician,said AIDS is an integral part of the overall crisisof poverty and hunger that millions face in
Saharan Africa. AIDS treatments are owned byprofit-hungry companies in the imperialist
whose drug Retrovir® (zidovudine/AZT) is fartoo expensive for most Africans with AIDS.Bill
told attendeesthat progress against AIDS will be impossibleunless scientists from competing pharmaceutical companies share research information ratherthan spending millions of dollars to replicatestudies.With no breakthrough findings reported atthe conference, this call gained new urgencywith the news that a new strain of the HTV virusmay exist Conference participants said it showsmore
than ever that it
will require a massive armyof well-funded researchers to strike down thehydra of AIDS.
Onus on U.S.
At the opening session, conference chair Dr.Jonathan Mann of Harvard said there are cur-
13 million people infected with
Bythe year 2000, some 38 million to 110 millionadults, and
be infected,and the epidemic is spreading most rapidlyamong women and children. Dr. Michael H.Merson of the World Health Organization said,"close to half of the one million newly infectedadults [since January 1] have been women."Also during the conference, activists announced a
boycott against products